Connect with us

Penguins

Goalies to Prospects; Questions & Answers for Penguins Offseason

Published

on

NHL trade, Pittsburgh Penguins Nathan Legare

We are all getting a little impatient for the Pittsburgh Penguins offseason to begin. They haven’t played a game in nearly one month, but nor have the Penguins tore up the NHL trade market, been engaged in high-profile trade chases, or otherwise made a move.

That’s not a criticism or a report that Penguins GM Ron Hextall is sitting on his hands. It is an acknowledgment that a few weeks away from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and the questions don’t yet have answers, nor do we have many clues.

As part of Michael Russo’s report that the Minnesota Wild began trade talks for Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel, Minnesota GM Bill Guerin admitted it is unlikely trades will happen until after the July 21 expansion draft.

In other words, buckle in for a few more weeks before all hell breaks loose. Guerin reads the market as well as anyone and has done a remarkable job with a cap-strapped team that wasn’t very good. They pushed Vegas to seven games this season.

But the questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins persist.

Q1: What about Sam Poulin and Nathan Legare?

Should the Penguins need additional forward depth, their top two forward prospects Sam Poulin and Nathan Legare, offer a good bit of hope for the future.

Take this as my insight, I see Poulin as a solid third-liner, and there isn’t much chance he’ll miss. He may be a fourth-liner if his skating doesn’t match the pro game, but he has a complete game.

Poulin is 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, so size isn’t a problem. He also played both wings at the junior level.

Legare will take more seasoning in the AHL before he lands in the NHL. He won’t be ready as quickly because he has a power forward sniper game, and he will need time to learn where to be and how to find space to unleash his wicked wrister.

Legare has a real chance to be a top-six winger. His skating dramatically improved this season. The hip-twists skating style was streamlined, and he got to his spots much quicker.

He’s got a chip on his shoulder and an edge to his game, but don’t plan on his arrival in 2021-22.

PHN will be doing in-depth scouting reports with QMJHL scouts and video in the coming weeks. For now, don’t plan on either making an impact, at least at the start of the season. But…if it happens, bonus Penguins.

Q2: The playoffs teams have great goalies. Don’t the Penguins need to upgrade their goalie?

I’ve been surprised by the undersell on Tristan Jarry. The guy made the All-Star game one season ago. He brilliantly stole a handful of games this season.

He stunk in the playoffs.

But refer back to the first paragraph. Is Semyon Varlamov or Marc-Andre Fleury significantly better than Jarry? Well, Fleury is certainly better, sometimes. Otherwise, Jarry is a good goalie who whiffed at his first big chance. He’s not the first.

The Stanley Cup Final goalies Andrei Vesilevskiy and Carey Price are certainly better than Jarry. But go ahead–find an available goalie in their league. There are only one or two other goalies in that class, and teams don’t readily give them up (*cue the John Gibson replies, but that’s a long shot).

The Penguins are solid in net. They could use a playoff experienced goalie in the mix should Jarry whiff again, but Casey DeSmith is also a low-paid, capable puck stopper. So, there’s no desperation to fill that need until the 2022 NHL trade deadline.

Q3: Why don’t they trade Malkin and Letang?

Stop it already.

Q4: Which Pittsburgh Penguins are most likely to be traded?

This is an easy question. Start at the top of the salary scale, skip the big three, and start there. Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker make $11.5 million combined. Marcus Pettersson makes over $4 million.

I didn’t include John Marino because he is a young defenseman (who got paid very early in his career). His career trajectory is probably closer to his rookie year than his sophomore year. Still, his trade value would be closer to his sophomore year. He’s also one of those d-men who could grow to become more physical, too. Nothing is impossible, but it doesn’t seem likely unless the Penguins get a sweet return.

The Penguins both have big trade chips, but not many of them. Some readers and YouTube viewers have asked about Bryan Rust. To that, I’d say–no way. That low salary ($3.5 million) combined with that production and his gritty game? You keep that.

Subscribe to PHN+
17 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
17 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve
Steve
3 months ago

This all makes sense to me. I don’t think the Pens trade Poulin or Legare. They don’t have enough prospects, and to win the cup they may need a young guy on an entry contract to contribute on the 3rd or 4th lines. My question centers on what you can get in a trade for Guentzel or Zucker. Of the two, Guentzel figures to bring the better return. But is he enough of a piece to secure a Tkachuk or a Gibson? I am sure he could be included in a deal for Ristolainen, but the Pens would have to… Read more »

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

GREAT QUSTION

Pardeep
Pardeep
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

They don’t need to trade for a forward. They have enough offense and need to trade for a defensemen. A guy like dumba would be a good addition cause wild might actually do it cause they might not protect him in the draft. Penguins can give em petterson who is cheaper for the wild and still young so it’s a win win for both teams. Than the penguins should give up a pick to Kraken so they can take zucker from the penguins. This gives penguins financial flexibility to add another defense/ offense piece in the offseason. Makes them better… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Pardeep
Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Pardeep

Thank you Pardeep. At least somebody gets it. This talk of being more physical and adding grinder type forwards is BS. In the playoff’s who are the top leading scorers? Colorado had a all around big team and Vegas kicked there keisters in 6 games and the last 4 were all pretty much butt kicking’s. Also for those who want Jarry out take a look at these names and you tell me why don’t get the same amount of blame as Jarry does: Rask, Price before these playoffs and Binnington. Why do those guys get a free pass but Jarry… Read more »

Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
Vittorio Di Stazio Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Where did I say Fans Dan? Say TB wins the cup then what? Nobody is going to remember the grinder guys or the physical forwards, no instead what they will focus is “How do we as a team stop Kucherov and Point”? AV of TB is the only guy since Murray to have this kind of run in him. Yeah it helps to have a top Goaltender but that goes out the door when things are lined up against you winning like the refs acting blindly through the game or your best players get treated like dogfood and other things… Read more »

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
3 months ago

Good stuff Dan- i think Jarry is def an NHL goalie. I wouldnt call him good or bad, about average since he has played about 100 games. Been good and inconsistent the last two seasons. Playoffs was a huge wiff. He may turn out to be better, only time will tell. I personally am more the skeptical side as those same characteristics that were flaws in the playoffs, were also part of his game during his reg season career. I hope they can bring in some kind of vet. I dont want this fella holding the crack left in the… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Rich Filardi
Ken Colligan
3 months ago

Yes, Rust is a bargain for next year. But that is not the question. Do you give him 6 mill for 5 years starting the following season ? That is what he will want. His game is heavily dependent on speed and he will start that new contract at age 30. They probably have to make that decision this off-season.

Cal
Cal
3 months ago

Something HAS to give. This team has cap issues. There will be changes.

Lars Erik Nelson
Lars Erik Nelson
3 months ago

That 2 million Jack Johnson cap hit looks really bad now. That is Teddy Bleugar’s contract. If you traded Guetzel (which I don’t advocate), you could move Zucker up with Crosby. They had success when he first came here. I think Zucker is still pretty good and can still play at a high level, but we have seen 2 seasons of Covid and Malkin injured. I don’t know how you get a good return for him though. Tkachuk would be great, obviously. Gibson might be great, but he might not. He has been down the last 2 years.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
3 months ago

So your plan is to let Rust walk after this year with no return? I guess the same for Malkin and Letang? Someone has to go to get cap room?

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
3 months ago

I personally dont extend him at 5/6 and i may try a shorter term deal at a more team friendly rate, because you will be looking for a replacement. I like Rust, from a scoring standpoint i think he over achieved and thats by in part because of his speed on the ice. His hands can be a mystery at times. So, not a team friendly deal-i try dealing him before the season starts.

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
3 months ago
Reply to  Rich Filardi

The question is would Rust do it? This is his time for a payoff.

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
3 months ago

Good question. Personally, I think he had his best season already- still will be good but wont eclipse that.

Anthony Valenti
Anthony Valenti
3 months ago

Trade leturd

Jim
Jim
3 months ago

Biggest idiot Pens writer in existence. Do you even know anything about hockey? People pay you for this “knowledge?” Laughable. Quit your job please.

Join PHN Extra!

Join PHN+ today for exclusive content from Dan and Shelly plus a completely Google ad-free experience.

PHN+

Or enter your email below to sign-up for our mailing list.

Thank you!

Something went wrong.

No thanks. I don't want.